As if wishing to prove correct the accusation that Hollywood is currently engaged in a mission to gender swap its entire back catalogue – as if that goes some way to addressing issues of inequality within the industry – MGM has announced its intention to remake Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, as a female-led project. Rebel Wilson will produce and star in this revisiting of the popular 1988 comedy.
The original starred Steve Martin and Michael Caine as two con men attempting to covertly free an heiress of her money. It’s a well-regarded entry into the comedy genre of the late-80s – reflecting the arrogance and excesses of the era, combined with the comedy-sparring of Martin and Caine. This new version – written by Jac Schaeffer – will see the lead roles gender-swapped, as two female con artists pit themselves against each other to manipulate a naïve tech industry genius into handing over his millions.
Unfortunately, there are some alarm bells ringing here – not because this is another gender-swapping remake, but because the nature of the changes to the story run the risk of making it too similar to a previous film. The 2001 comedy Heartbreakers saw Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sigourney Weaver clash as con women hustling a ‘mark,’ but these two were mother and daughter.
While it doesn’t sound as though there will be a familial link between the two con women in this Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake, the female co-leads are described as being of contrasting personalities and backgrounds, leading to this sense of competition. Hopefully, with Rebel Wilson on board as producer, these risks will be avoided, and a good time will be had by all.